Old Drum

Commentary on Warrensburg, Johnson County and Missouri issues from a Libertarian perspective. View my earlier commentary at www.olddrum.net.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Gleanings from City Council "work seession"

I read with interest the digitalBurg.com article on the City Council "work session." A few of their hopes and fears ned some more discussion:

1. City wide trash service, run by or contracted by the city. This presupposes that Government can do things better than private industry. Their main rationales are reducing truck traffic and people sneaking their trash into commercial dumpster. I suspect the most of the truck traffic problems have already been alleviated since there is now only one major commercial hauler in town. The night-time dumping problem will likely not go away - human nature being what it is. However, once the city takes over trash hauling, they can foist mandatory recycling upon the citizens, instead of the voluntary program that now exists.

2. The need to provide incentives for retail businesses. Is htere a reason why most of the attempts to bring "fine dining" to Warrensburg have failed? I think so - it's because going to the city makes the occasion more special. Similarly, other upscale shopping (like clothing) also pulls people to make an event of it. or any type of business, once the market here is right, the chains will come, much to the regret of the local folks put out of business. That's the marketplace, but why do we want to subsidize the outsiders?

3. The article said Mayor Arwood's greatest fear was "that the City Council would lose the community's confidence and would not support tax increases for some of these plans." Uh, you're damn right - we shouldn't be taking money from the people to give to developers!

Looking at all this, it gives me pause to reflect on the nature of our city government. We have a non-partisan system with 5 councilpersons elected at large. Currently, three of them are CMSU-connected, one is a prominent residential developer and the other has a large retail business. Major segments of the population are not represented. Perhaps as the city grows, it's time to reconsider the merits of this system as opposed to one in which councilpersons are elected to represent specific areas or constituencies?

In Liberty


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